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Births: Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 - 1778) - Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) - Casanova (1725 - 1798)

Moll Flanders (1722) - Daniel Defoe

He also wrote Moll Flanders (1722), a picaresque first-person narration of the fall and eventual redemption of a lone woman in 17th century England. She appears as a whore, bigamist and thief, lives in The Mint, commits adultery and incest, yet manages to keep the reader's sympathy. Both this work and Roxana, The Fortunate Mistress (1724) offer remarkable examples of the way in which Defoe seems to inhabit his fictional (yet "drawn from life") characters, not least in that they are women.

Moll Flanders was banned by the index of the Catholic church, and has been called a bildungsroman.

Comparison with Fanny Hill
Also, Fanny herself does not, like Roxana or Moll Flanders, repent. She has no remorse for her education in sex, although she does realize that she is being exploited. Further, Fanny acts as a picaro, for as a prostitute she shows the wealthy men of the peerage at their most base and private. Samuel Richardson and Daniel Defoe had written about women forced into compromised situations before, and they had hinted graphically enough that the subversive and erotic context was present, but neither made their heroines women of pleasure. Neither of them imputed to their women any joy in their situation, whereas Cleland does. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Hill [Nov 2005]

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moll Flanders

Roxana (1724) - Daniel Defoe

Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress Or, a History of the Life and Vast Variety of Fortunes of Mademoiselle De Beleau, Afterwards Called the Countess De wintselshei (1724) - Daniel Defoe [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Roxana (1724), Defoe's last and darkest novel, is the autobiography of a woman who has traded her virtue, at first for survival, and then for fame and fortune. Its narrator tells the story of her own "wicked" life as the mistress of rich and powerful men. Endowed with many seductive skills, she is herself seduced: by money, by dreams of rank, and by the illusion that she can escape her own past. This edition uses the rare first edition text, with a new Introduction, detailed Notes, textual history and a map of contemporary London.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. --via Amazon.com

Defoe returned to the subject of fallen women with an even more salacious Roxanna. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moll_Flanders [Jun 2005]

1. Appealing to or stimulating sexual desire; lascivious.
2. Lustful; bawdy.

New Science (1725) - Giambattista Vico

New Science: Principles of the New Science Concerning the Common Nature of Nations (1725) - Giambattista Vico [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Giambattista Vico, the Italian philosopher, lived from 1668 to 1744. His "New Science" is gradually being re-established as one of the most significant "humanist" achievements since the Renaissance and the greatest work of Italian philosophy. This book represents an attempt to provide a comprehensive science of human society by decoding the history, mythology and law of the ancient world.

"My imagination grows every time I read Vico as it doesn't when I read Freud or Jung."-- James Joyce

That Vico is largely unknown, even by the so-called experts teaching in our universitiues, while mediocrities and worse of the past half century are lauded and taught widely is yet another indication that our educational standards are dumbed down considerably. Vico is difficult to read, and we are increasingly an intellectually lazy people who prefer simplistic platitudes that sooth our postmodernist prejudices.

I give this Penguin edition only a 4 not because New Science is not itself a 5 or because the translation itself is weak, but because Vico requires copious notes. Most who read this work will do so on their own, and they need considerable help unless they are already as well read in the Classics and works of the Medieval and Renaissance eras as was Vico himself. Perhaps soon we will see an edition that meets that need, which also might encourage a few more to teach Vico, before we fall into the re-barbarism. --review via amazon.com

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